CALLS to improve the dangerous A417 missing link have been heightened this week after a woman who was seriously injured in a three-car smash on the road on Easter Sunday died in hospital.
The 67-year-old woman from Worcester, who has yet to be named by the police, died at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Wednesday, April 23, three days after the crash.
She is the fifth person to have been killed in accidents on the single carriageway stretch of road since last November.
The crash happened at around 5.20pm on Sunday, April 20 between the Air Balloon roundabout and the turn-off for Birdlip.
The woman was a passenger in a white Nissan Qashqai that was being driven towards Gloucester by a 67-year-old man, also from Worcester.
A grey BMW 3-series car driven by a 48-year-old man from Surrey travelling towards Cirencester is believed to have collided with the Nissan.
Another car, a blue Vauxhall Astra, being driven by a 29-year-old woman from Surrey was also involved in the smash but not injured.
The drivers of the Nissan and BMW were also taken to hospital but have since been discharged.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, has said he was “dismayed” to learn that the road has claimed another life.
“The mounting death toll on this dangerous and unsatisfactory piece of road is clearly unacceptable and strengthens the case for the government to provide the necessary funding to upgrade the road and make it safer,” he said.
A county-wide campaign calling on the government to spend £250million on a new dual carriageway between the roundabouts at Cowley and the Air Balloon was launched last year.
So far the A417 Loop project has received the backing of 4,500 residents, commuters and businesses across Gloucestershire.
Mr Clifton-Brown told the Standard that he has this week written to the roads minister Robert Goodwill MP informing him of the woman’s death and urging him to prioritise the scheme.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire Martin Surl has also spoken out, saying that only an engineering solution will address the problem.
He said: “I need no convincing that this is an extremely dangerous stretch of road. I am no expert on road design but I am happy to give my full support to the most workable suggestion.”
It is hoped that the A417 Loop scheme will be added to the Highways Agency’s list of future road scheme priorities in the near future.
Being featured on the Highways Agency’s list will improve the chances of the project being given vital funding by the government in 2015.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said that while the Highways Agency prepares its list, people across the county should continue supporting the proposal.
The campaign can be supported online at www.a417missinglink.co.uk.